How Focusing on the Supremacy of Christ Can Unify a Church or Nation
[Editor’s Note: This blog post reminds us that regardless of the differences we have in the Body of Christ, when Christ is allowed to reign among us miraculous things can happen.]
Have you been following the political intrigues during this presidential campaign season with all of the strife and insults, party spirit and anger, suspicions and accusations? Have you noted how so much of it boils down to what Scripture calls “works of the flesh” that can never inherit God’s kingdom (see Galatians 5:19-21), and that only result in further division?
Sadly, I’m reminded of similar battles I’ve witnessed inside Christian congregations over the past forty years.
Let me tell you about one of them and how it finally turned out.
A Cry For Help!
During a time of heightened tensions and increasing recriminations, with a threat of an unwanted schism looming, in desperation a local church near my home asked me to come one night to help them find a solution. I don’t think any of us were totally prepared for what happened that evening.
Here’s how I approached it.
To begin our time together I took them through a brief Bible study on the supremacy of Christ, drawing from a story in 2 Samuel 5:1-5 about how Israel’s tribal elders, divided over royal succession after the death of King Saul, finally reunited the nation by re-embracing and re-anointing David as God’s chosen king.
From that passage of Scripture I highlighted parallel principles related to ways any divided group could experience similar healing by how they respond to Jesus Christ—the greater son of David, the ultimate King of Glory. (Study the passage to uncover the principles for yourself).
Next, to their surprise, I hauled down the huge, gold-trimmed, red velvet pulpit chair from the main platform. I placed it at pew level, making it accessible to a group of about forty leaders of the church.
I invited all of them—elders, deacons, Sunday school teachers, youth ministry staff, and the pastors—to come forward, get close to each other as they surrounded this throne-looking structure, and then just linger there in silence.
What followed was unforgettable.
Little Children Together Around the Throne
As they were crowded shoulder to shoulder, I then asked the forty to “become like little children” as they acted out a very simple drama, based on the Samuel passage, by getting down on their knees around the “throne” as if bowing before a monarch reigning over his court.
Furthermore, I suggested they envision Christ himself sitting and ruling on that very throne in our midst, since the truth was (and is), as Paul puts it, “Christ is among you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27); and again he reminds us, “Do you not know that Jesus Christ is among you—unless you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Then I encouraged all of them (still playacting as innocent children) to extend their hands until they touched some part of the throne (the way we sometimes lay hands on someone when we consecrate them for a certain job).
I led us into a spontaneous time of prayer designed to invite the Lord Jesus to reassume his rightful place among us as our Master and Mentor. A few were invited to express to our Father how wonderful King Jesus is and why we adore him for all he is and how blessed we are to live under his kingship, which they did.
Following those few moments, I encouraged them to express specific requests related to the immediate, critical needs of their church: to invite the Lord Jesus Christ to break through in order to free them of all that was dividing them; to conquer them in new ways and take up his royal role among them in all his fullness; to once again unite their hearts to one another as the Holy Spirit focused them afresh on Jesus himself as the Head of their body, Ruler of their lives, and Leader of their destiny as a congregation.
Suddenly the Breakthrough Came!
To my surprise, the Holy Spirit began to work powerfully as spontaneous repentant weeping was heard among some. Expectant smiles dawned on the faces of others as we prayed. A newfound, undeniably supernatural “peace among the brethren” descended upon us before we were done.
Still circled around the throne, we concluded by standing up to sing to our King the first verse of that universal hymn that begins with these words, “Crown him with many crowns, the Lamb upon his throne … Awake, my soul, and sing of him who died for thee, and hail him as thy matchless King throughout eternity.”
As voices rose in unison, each phrase became a ratification of what had happened among us that night. This breakthrough began a process that brought about genuine restoration.
Their divisions had been overwhelmed by something grander—by someone grander. Focused on the power and presence of God’s Son, reigning unhindered as supreme in their lives together, no one, at that moment, could even remember what had created such hostilities to begin with.
Many professed afterwards they would never be the same again, nor look at Christ the same again—nor think about their congregation the same again.
Residing, Presiding, Uniting
One irrefutable reality took hold of them that evening and it was simply this:
Jesus is alive and active, available as King to reside and preside among his people anywhere on planet earth, willing and ready to exercise among us the gift of unity anchored in his supremacy.
Right now he is eager and able to display powerful expressions of his reign within every single congregation where He is allowed to draw us together in love around himself for all he is (as foreshadowed in 2 Samuel 5).
At this very moment he desires to give all of his followers from every nation, tribe, and tongue a foretaste—an approximation—of how we will experience in him everlasting unity-in-community in the Consummation. He is fashioning those fellowships around the world now.
Unity Focused on Christ’s Supremacy Is Needed More Than Ever
Christians must cease focusing so ardently on temporal barriers that often separate people from one another in this age—tradition, race, gender, ethnicity, age, nationality, politics, and cultural and social status. No longer should these distinctions define who we are to each other in Christ, any more than they will define us when we re-convene around our triumphant, returning Lord in the Day of Resurrection.
Instead, as “new creations in Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 5:17) we must embrace one another in love by embracing Christ together as our all in all, focusing fully on him who dwells among us for all he is (Colossians 3:11; see its context in Colossians 3:1-17). Only then will we see believers fully united in the love of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit and be “brought to complete unity” (John 17).
Does a divided nation have any hope of being unified in this way? In 2016, no matter how dedicated the effort, no Democrat, Republican, Socialist, or Independent politician can ever achieve such a precious outcome alone.
That’s why like never before, with today’s fierce and fractured and flailing electorate, this supernatural oneness is the incomparable miracle our nation desperately needs, and it must be seen powerfully demonstrated in the churches of America—during the elections of 2016, and beyond.
That is why we must not cease praying for and laboring for a nationwide Christ Awakening movement among God’s people, until the glory and greatness of God’s Son once again becomes the focus by which a congregation, and even a nation, can begin to unify.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David Bryant
Known as a proclaimer of Christ and Messenger of Hope, David Bryant is the founder and president of Proclaim Hope!, a ministry whose goal is to serve a nationwide Christ Awakening. David is the author of five books, including Christ Is ALL! Join in the Joyful Awakening to the Supremacy of God’s Son.